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What is a complete restoration?

We maintain as much as possible of the substance of the old instrument and keep
close to the original.

1. The tone-producing assembly

A complete rebuilding involves removing the strings, pins, keyboard and the plate from the
piano. This is done with utmost care so as not to damage the substance.
The "soul" of the instrument is the soundboard.
If the soundboard is cracked or loose from the ribs we rebuild it.
The soundboard should be dried out as thoroughly as possible to help prevent it from
cracking again after it is rebuilt. The cracks will be filled with wedge shaped spruce
soundboard shims.
The old finish will be scraped. The board will be sanded and bleached.
Finally it'll be revarnished.
The removed plate will be cleaned and relacquered. Then it is reinstalled carefully.
New strings (bass and treble) are installed using new tuning pins.
The strings are chipped and slowly brought up to the right pitch.

2. The action

If the action needs extensive repairs we are to decide on either rebuilding the old parts
or install new ones.
All parts have to be taken out.
The action is refurbished completely
All worn parts like felts, leather, springs, wires and wooden parts are replaced.
Felts (in an upright): back rail cloth, back check felt, bridle tape, damper felt, hammer
butt felt, hammer rail cloth, spring rail felt, etc.
Leather: catcher buckskin, hammer buckskin.
Springs: damper springs, hammer butt springs, jack springs.
New hammer heads, hammer shanks and knuckles are installed.
The action is regulated completely.
For an upright more than 25 adjustments (x 88 keys) have to be made and for a grand
more than 3O (x 88 keys)!

3. The keyboard

Each single keyboard is hand-crafted.
We preserve the ivory (if any) and add missing parts.
It has to be cleaned, bleached and polished.
We replace all felts: balance rail bushings, front rail bushings, back rail cloth
balance rail punchings and front rail punchings
If the original keytops can't be preserved we recover with plexi.

4. The case (the cabinet)
The case is disassembled and cleaned thoroughly. Missing parts are reproduced.
Worn or defective veneers are replaced. It is either resprayed (black satin or high gloss)
(colourless satin) , resprayed polyester, or French polished ( a tremendous job, done by
a professional French polisher: this will of course cost more)

- We can exchange an overdamper action to an underdamper action.
- If necessary we replace a pinblock (a wrest plank).
- We renew bridges (partially or fully).

Before we decide on complete restoration, we are to do an expertise.
Only if the instrument is worth the rebuilding job, we restore it in this way.
You will easily understand that a complete restoration takes an awful lot of time
and is rather costly. On the other hand the result will be a remarkable piano
in excellent condition (often better than new!).

More questions, email us for more information: info@pijperspianos.be

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